Tales From the Loop is a quiet science fiction drama with excellent production value, and skilled direction and writing. Rather than lecturing you on my own take, let me offer some positives and negatives and then I'll close with a brief commentary:
- Excellent production value. The cinematography and sound are both excellent.
- Interesting retro-sci-fi world. The more "in your face" science fiction elements are blended seamlessly with real-world scenarios and backdrops to create a believable context for the stories being told.
-The art of Simon Stålenhag is used to great effect in establishing a world. In addition Stålenhag's art is used to great effect without overwhelming the story.
-Multiple character viewpoints. As the stories are set in world similar to our own but where the fantastical is commonplace, it is nice to have multiple character perspectives to become familiar with the setting.
- Adult drama. While the language and adult content is present, it is not overwhelming. It is presented in such a way that it tends to reflect real life. (Some viewers may find any adult content to be a negative, so it is worth noting that I am commenting here on the artistic restraint shown.)
- Very quiet and even slow. Unless you enjoy long shots and quiet scenes, this show may not be for you.
- Non-linear. If you are person who wants one story that notably progresses from one episode to the next, then you may be frustrated by lack of visible connectedness between any two, sequential, episodes.
- Odd. This quirky, off-beat and strangely normal world is only explained with an introduction and in bits and pieces, and the bulk of the way in which the setting is understood is through context. If you prefer ready explanations, then this may not be an enjoyable experience for you.
Some people have made references to shows like Eureka, Stranger Things and Black Mirror. While those comparisons are understandable, none of them really capture the tone of Tales From the Loop. With regard to:
- Eureka: Tales From the Loop's production value and attention to directorial artistry alone puts TFtL in a different category than Eureka, although some of the small town meets sci-fi elements are present.
-Stranger Things: On this I simply disagree. (...although I am a great fan of Stranger Things, especially season 1). TFtL lacks the overt "kids-on-bikes" verses evil element that Stranger Things possesses, and has no serious horror element soever. Also, the tones of each series are completely divergent.
-Black Mirror: TFtL does have a technology meets life aspect, and that is where the similarities end. TFtL isn't attempting to make societal commentary in the same way that Black Mirror is. And, while there are moment in TFtL that run to a darker tone, it lacks the heavy darkness of Black Mirror.
In general, I found the show to be of extraordinary quality and to be deeply engaging.